Very much like Ozzy and co before them however, they’ve put all this to good use and started writing music which leads us to the here and now; following on from 2016’s debut album “Here I Am”, they return with a brand new EP by the name of “Ouroboros”…perfectly summing up their situation and up-bringing with a symbolic gesture of creation born from destruction…artistically poignant, or are they just chasing their own tails? Let’s find out…The EP opens up with the imaginatively titled “Introduction” and to be honest; while I’m not a fan of intro’s generally I do appreciate the no-nonsense approach here. The minute and a half of TV static, broken channel reception and police sirens portraying a state of unrest and uncertainty; a level of chaos, as it transitions into lead single “Killafornia”…and god how I wish Arnold Schwarzenneger was a part of this. It’s a word tailor made for a Terminator parody that hopefully AUSTRIAN DEATH MACHINE will pick up someday. The track itself is a brilliantly rugged blend of hard rock and early 2000’s nu-metal; it's coarse production quality with a more melodic chorus combining elements that would appeal to the likes of ORGY and at points MUSHROOMHEAD; a promising start.
Follow up track “Hypochondriac” jumps straight out of that same era quite frankly with its underlying techno elements and angst-ridden style of riff-heavy rock…a little repetitive for the most part and the vocals do seem off during the chorus, but the guitar solo delivers well it has to be said, an unexpected surprise in an otherwise grating track. “Arrows In My Heart”, the longest on offer here is itself too let down by some off-putting vocals…again harking back to Orgy, they’ve opted for an almost, mechanical / filtered vocal recording but John’s no Jay Gordon I’ll say that much, he’s too off-key too often. The sudden switch then to album highlight “Die For Another Day” is very welcome, as it opens up with an almost trad-goth / post-punk guitar tone, with layers of piano giving it extra character, coupled with the chorus’ rhythmic hooks and a more pop-based vibe, it’s incredibly catchy while still retaining the raw rock elements, before closing track “Taken By Surprise” sounds like it could have easily been taken out of the “Queen Of The Damned” soundtrack, musically having similarities to “Redeemer” in places, rounding things up on a somewhat nostalgic note.
The band themselves cite influences such as NINE INCH NAILS, MARILYN MANSON and TOOL but listening to this EP we find them to be nowhere near as profound or creatively edgy, and instead we find them more closely resembling the lesser end of the Nu-metal gene pool…I mentioned Orgy but you’ve also got the likes of ADEMA and POWERMAN 5000 layered within these songs, bands that saturated a trend as opposed to setting one. Yes it’s nice to listen back fondly to that era, but to ironically paraphrase Trent Reznor, it’s just a copy of a copy of an already ridiculed genre. Silver linings, The Balance Factor are still better than the fucking X factor…